Tributes have been paid to Aylesbury United first team coach Gary Hawksworth, who died of a suspected heart attack while on holiday last week.
Aylesbury United manager Glyn Creaser described him as a ‘funny guy’ who ‘loved football’ while United chairman Graham Read said he was ‘passionate about the club’.
Mr Hawksworth, 52, was on holiday in the Maldives with his partner Coral when he died of a suspected heart attack.
A minute’s applause was held in memory of Mr Hawksworth ahead of United’s league match against Fleet Town on Saturday.
Mr Hawksworth joined the club in 2009 and was part of the backroom team alongside previous manager Tony Joyce and current boss Glyn Creaser.
Mr Creaser said: “He was a funny guy who loved his football and always made time to chat with the players.
“He had a lot of respect for our skipper Jack Wood and thought highly of him.
“He is a massive loss to the club and had a real bond with the players.
“It is very tragic what has happened but I decided to tell the players the news once I knew rather than waiting until just before the game.
“I felt the applause was the right way to remember him.”
Mr Hawksworth worked with previous United boss Tony Joyce at Buckingham Town.
During his time with the Ducks, the club won the Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division Cup and finished runners-up in the Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division.
Mr Read added: “I remember driving down to an artificial grass conference with him and his love for the club came across then.
“He had a real passion for the club and he kicked every ball.”
Aylesbury FC chairman Danny Martone tweeted: “Condolences to all Gary’s family.
“A sad day for football regardless of who you follow.
“Will miss you my friend.”
Meanwhile, the club’s Twitter feed added: “This is terrible news and puts any rivalries into perspective.
“Condolences from all at Haywood Way.”
Mr Hawksworth lived in Milton Keynes and was a keen supporter of Championship side Middlesbrough.
He leaves behind his partner Coral and two daughters.